The theme for the week was about being a Princess (a child of the King!). There were princess songs, games and crafts; a princess tea party, talks on royalty (Queens) from the Bible and tiaras on every plate at the closing banquet.
Being in the kitchen was new to me, and I didn't get many opportunities to interact with the campers but I made one (fairly obvious) observation:
Girls are very unique and diverse.
Some of the girls didn't need instruction on how to behave "royally" or which pink would look best on their toes.
Some of the girls played hard at sports, ate hearty dinners and kept their nails clear.
Some girls studied hard to memorize the daily scripture verses (and bonus verses) and were always the first to answer the quiz questions - for the joy of achievement.
Some girls cooked in the kitchen!
There are so many things that I love about being a woman, and about having daughters, but I am also concerned about what the world tells us about being female. So many mixed messages. And how does the church counter or contribute to challenges we face?
Don't get me wrong, I'm no feminist - I love many of the things that defined the 50's wife and mother: taking loving care of her husband and children, baking, sewing, creating a haven of peace and rest for the family. I also loved being able to take my daughter to a camp focused on girls and their specific needs as part of the family of God.
I guess there are days, though, that I long for the Kingdom to be as Paul described it in Galatians 3:26-28
"You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
I don't think that means we will be genderless, but that we will no longer fight against being the complete woman God has called us to be, and we will no longer feel like we need to fight for our "rights." The curse given to Eve in the garden and passed down to us will permanently be lifted and we will each enjoy our unique version of femininity, exactly the way God intended.
Until then, I will continue to bake and teach my children how to put their napkins in their lap at dinner. I will love my husband the way he wants to be loved, not the way I feel like showing it. I will serve the Lord in my church and community.
And tomorrow afternoon, I'll even sew a new blankie for my youngest - just because I can and she asked nicely!